Check my math - electric cars and the grid

Discussion in 'Basic Math' started by UmYeah, May 20, 2022.

  1. UmYeah


    May 20, 2022
    Likes Received:
    I set out for a rough number on how much electricity the USA needs for a 100% electric cars.

    The answer is a little shocking and hard to believe, it's basic math, with huge numbers and kW's, if there's a mistake, I don't see it.

    My input numbers are what I found "on the web" and are in the ballpark of the range I found in my searches.

    Is there an error here?

    Average 1 month total electricity generation in the USA:
    4.1TerraWatts / 12 = 342,000,000kW

    Average 1 month total miles driven in the USA:
    3.3 Trillion / 12 = 275,000,000,000

    Average kilowatts to move an electric vehicle 1 mile:

    Total kW needed for 1 month of electric vehicle travel:

    Assume 0% currently goes to charge EV's
    342,000,000kW is currently generated/used each month

    95,150,000,000kW additional is needed to charge EV's

    In total, we need to generate 95,492,000,000kW each month.
    We currently generate 342,000,000kW

    We need to increase generating/delivery capacity by 27,822%

    Current capacity x 279 = enough kW to power a 100% EV America?
    UmYeah, May 20, 2022
  2. UmYeah


    Sep 14, 2023
    Likes Received:
    When stating the total kW needed for 1 month of EV travel, you put 95,150,000,000kW. That is a lot of kilowatts. Where exactly did this information come from? I took a decent sample size of online data and found that the average driver drives 1200 miles per month. That averages out to 415.2 kW for the month. I check all the other data, and it seemed to be roughly in the ballpark. So to conclude, where did you find the total kW needed for 1 month? Also take into account that more than 0% goes to EVs from the U.S. total generation. Also, not many people drive EVs in the U.S., at least not compared to fuel powered cars. So when taking the average monthly miles, make sure it is the miles driven by EVs, not all cars in the U.S. Hope this helps.
    Squarehead314, Sep 14, 2023
    Walter Fristoe likes this.
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